• Let's love and respect!
    World Animal Day is an annual observance, celebrated on October 4, that aims to protect animals from all walks of life and raise awareness of the countless species that share the planet with us, emphasizing the need to treat them humanely. This is a key date for animal rights activists and organizations who want to improve animal welfare around the world. The event aims to raise awareness of the problems that the animal world is facing today - from those that are critically endangered to pets that are mistreated by their owners.
  • Our neighbor the wolf. What is he really like?
    Wolves were one of the most common predators in European forests. The transformation of the environment and human policies have brought these animals to the brink of extinction. Many years of efforts to protect the wolf have improved the situation somewhat. Today, there are approximately 2,000 individuals living in Poland. However, due to the increasing density of human development, the wolf, whether it likes it or not, is increasingly a neighbor of humans. Wolves, like other large predators in Poland, have much less space to live due to human activity. We take away their territory and are surprised that they appear more and more often near our settlements.
  • Climate change will hit mushroom pickers
    There will be fewer and fewer chanterelles and bay boletes in Polish forests. It's all because of the changing climate. The collections will also be smaller, including: boletus edulis - scientists warn. There is also good news - the existing species of mushrooms in our baskets will be replaced by others...
  • Research by Polish scientists is published in "Nature"
    An international team of scientists, including researchers from Poland, published the results of work on various determinants of biological invasions of geographically foreign tree species and factors preventing the invasions.
  • Without forests we can be in the forest!
    Forests constitute approximately 31 percent. the entire area of Poland. Unfortunately, their most valuable areas are still not sufficiently protected. For this reason, we appeal to the director of the State Forests, among others: for the protection of old forest complexes, irrigation of wetlands and peat bogs, and FSC certification for all areas managed by the Directorate of State Forests. Properly managed forests reduce the severity of climate change and store large amounts of carbon in the long term. They act as natural air conditioning for the planet, which is beneficial for people during severe heatwaves. The gusty winds that we experience more and more often in Poland are slowing down.
  • Eco-neutral packaging does not degrade the environment
    Despite growing awareness, packaging waste is still a huge problem for the environment, and its number is growing along with increasing consumption and the popularity of online commerce. According to UKE data, in 2022, over 2.5 million parcels were delivered to Polish consumers every day. – On the one hand, packaging consumption is growing, on the other hand, the trend of choosing environmentally neutral packaging is becoming more and more visible – says Kamila Koźbiał, marketing director at DS Smith. - This is visible among both global and smaller, locally operating producers. As experts point out, the new regulations currently being processed at the EU level and the entry into force of the deposit system will also have a huge impact on the shape of this market. 
  • Manage waste skillfully
    In Poland, approximately 14.5 million tons of municipal waste is generated annually, including approximately 4.5 million tons that cannot be reused or recycled. The only rational way to manage this waste is to use it for energy purposes in installations for the thermal processing of municipal waste (ITPOK). The National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management provides financial support for the implementation of such projects. We are talking about it with Dominik Bąk, vice-president of the management board of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. Are there more supporters or opponents of thermal waste treatment? Would a comprehensive waste management system regulate this clearly? We produce and will continue to produce waste. Taking into account the European average of approximately 530 kg per inhabitant per year, we in Poland must be prepared to manage up to 18 million tons of waste each year. This is a real problem that materializes every day with the need to collect waste collected in buckets in front of properties, in pergolas, or at selective municipal waste collection points (PSZOK). We are all supporters of this waste being collected systematically, its processing not burdening the environment, and the costs we incur not being greater than absolutely necessary.
  • The problem of electronic waste
    What actually are e-waste? This is waste electrical and electronic equipment, abbreviated WEEE, often called "e-waste". These include: large and small household appliances; ICT and telecommunications equipment; lighting equipment; electrical and electronic tools; relaxation and sports equipment; medical instruments; inspection instruments; various types of machines. Currently, the cost of production and distribution of electrical and electronic equipment has decreased dramatically compared to the period of the last two decades. Previously, attempts were made to repair it instead of replacing it with a new one. Modern technological progress has replaced many older devices and due to lack of interest in repairing them, they end up in landfills, where they pollute the natural environment due to complicated disposal processes. One of the basic raw materials in the production of electronic components is mica, isolated from the metalloid silicon. The price of its extraction has recently increased almost threefold. Currently, it is mined mainly in China. Recently, the prices of coal and gas have increased significantly there, which has translated into a significant increase in its price. Moreover, silicon purification is a process that requires the use of chlorine, acids and various solvents that pollute the air, water and soil, posing a threat to workers and residents of the areas where it is mined.
  • Textile waste and its impact on the environment
    Summer sales are already underway in stores. We are tempted by promotions and discounts. We often fall into the trap and buy clothes that, as it later turns out, we did not necessarily need. Effect? Our wardrobes are bursting at the seams. Not only our wallets suffer, but also the environment. There are plenty of clothing stores. Popular chain stores successfully find crowds of customers. We, in turn, willingly follow fashion and spend money on new blouses, dresses and trousers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that over 16 million tons of textile waste is generated annually in the United States, of which only 15 percent is recycled. manages to be reused or recycled. Since the existence of "fast fashion" became a fact and the number of different collections, clothing manufacturers produced per year, increased from two at the turn of the century to as many as twelve or more today, the amount of clothing purchased by the average buyer has doubled. In Europe and the USA, one person buys on average 16 kilograms of new clothes every year - we read in the book "12 clever ways to save our world" published by Prószyński i S–ka publishing house. What is textile waste? Textile waste is most often clothes, but also curtains, bedding, towels and net curtains. There are often plenty of them in our homes, basements and attics. Some of them have been unused for a long time.
  • Babiogórski National Park
    One of Poland's 23 national parks. Located in the Żywiecki Beskids at the foot of the largest Polish village - Zawoja. Babiogórski P.N. It was established in 1954 in the then Krakow Voivodeship (old administrative division of Poland).
  • Uncontrolled waste is a huge threat
    Increasingly burning landfills are a huge threat to the environment and people, says Dr. Sylwia Stegenta-Dąbrowska from the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences. As he points out, effective methods of hazardous waste disposal are very expensive, and punishing those who do not comply with the regulations seems fiction.
  • Characterization of soil buffering capacity and possibilities of improving it
    Buffer capabilities (properties) of soil are its ability to resist changes in pH after adding small amounts of strong acid or strong base. They depend primarily on the physicochemical properties of the soil - carbonate content, capacity of the soil sorption complex, including the content of mineral colloids and humus. In soils without carbonates, which prevail in Poland, the capacity of the soil sorption complex and the degree of its saturation with alkaline cations significantly determine the soil's resistance to acidification. As a result, light soils, e.g. podsolic, luvis, have the lowest buffering capacity against acidification, and heavy soils are the most resistant to acidifying factors: chernozems, alluvial soils and peat soils. It is important to increase the buffering properties of the soil, primarily through the use of calcium fertilizers, which leads to "breaking the buffering properties of the soil". This treatment improves the physicochemical and biological properties of the soil and regulates the concentration of nutrients in the soil solution and retains ions from fertilizers, which improves the conditions for plant growth and development, but also indirectly prevents eutrophication of water and contributes to the immobilization of toxic aluminum ions and heavy metals, which additionally has an ecological dimension. Moreover, it increases the diversity and population size of soil organisms, especially microorganisms, and the health of plants, mainly in relation to fungal diseases.
  • James Hansen – climate change and civil disobedience
    Climate change is one of the planetary boundaries that is being exceeded. In today's world we need scientists like James Hansen, an American physicist and climatologist. He is an outstanding scientist, but what is extremely important is that he contributed significantly to increasing public awareness of climate change. He initiated a public discussion about global warming and made it no longer just a subject of scientific debates, but a political debate. Prof. James Hansen took part in many demonstrations, and his numerous actions and protests against the actions of politicians often ended with his arrest by the police. He compares the climate crisis to a huge asteroid heading straight for Earth.
  • The second law of thermodynamics
    The second law of thermodynamics - also called the Law of Entropy - states that every energy transformation causes an increase in disorder in the universe. Its influence on economic decisions is marginal. This does not mean that indirectly - especially in connection with maintaining the principles of sustainable management - economics ignores the need to impose certain restrictions on the use of natural resources.
  • Are GMO crops beneficial and safe?
    All scientific societies in Poland and around the world are of the opinion that GMO crops are beneficial and do not carry any risks - said biologist and geneticist Prof. Piotr Węgleński from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, former rector of the University of Warsaw, during an expert debate entitled "GMO: Safe or dangerous?" The discussion about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been going on for years, but it is still controversial. Recent surveys conducted by the Copernicus Science Center and the Medical University of Poznań indicate that as many as 60 percent Poles are against the distribution and production of GMOs in our country. Almost half of respondents believe that genetically modified organisms negatively affect biodiversity. Also half of them believe that consuming food produced using GMOs may uncontrollably modify our own DNA. At the same time, 53 percent respondents admitted that they did not have sufficient knowledge about GMOs, and as many as 78 percent I would like to know more about this. – We have a scientific consensus and now, after 30 years of research, there is no discussion in the scientific community whether modifying plants with the tools of modern genetic engineering is safe – emphasized Marcin Rotkiewicz, Polityka. – Asking now whether GMOs are safe is like asking whether vaccines cause autism - we know they don't, and asking whether humans influence climate change - yes, we know they do.
  • The first issue of AURA was published 50 years ago!
    The first issue of "AURA - a monthly magazine devoted to environmental protection" was published in January 1973. Since the beginning of the year, in each issue we have selectively presented fragments of texts that were published there. This time we are reviewing the 2003 vintage. 2003 is the 30th anniversary of AURA's existence on the publishing market. This is indicated by the occasional cover of issue 1 from this year and the text "30 years" by the editor-in-chief, Edward Garścia. 30 years is a long time for a magazine dealing with such topics as AURA. Although we had rich traditions in nature protection, its scope of action, given the spontaneous development of industry and cities, was becoming too narrow and insufficient... We started by revealing evil, existing threats and growing unfavorable trends in relation to nature. It is enough to quote a few sentences from the text by Stefan Żmuda, editor, from the first issue of AURA. The area of the Upper Silesian conurbation has the highest air pollution rates in Poland, exceeding the standards permissible for human health several times, and water conditions have been seriously disturbed. All drainage streams are polluted to a degree that exceeds the ability to self-clean, most of them are biologically dead. The species composition of vegetation is decreasing, insects are dying, birds are leaving groves and parks, and diseases resulting from environmental degradation are increasing among the population. There are many issues that have nothing to do with the ecological and social order we want to achieve. Another anniversary recorded in the 1st issue of AURA was the 10th anniversary of the EcoFund's operations. 
  • No energy-consuming devices
    Josh Spodek is one of those people for whom recycling and composting are not enough, which is why some of them have reduced their annual waste to almost zero, have no ovens, no clothes dryers, have given up flying and are ready to take the next step in discovering the boundaries sustainable development. For our hero, a resident of Manhattan, this meant giving up many items and devices in his apartment in Greenwich Village that we cannot do without on a daily basis at home. – It was a change in thinking followed by a change in behavior – says Josh Spodek. – First, I disconnected the refrigerator for three winter months, and the next year for about six, from November to early spring. Back then, I usually kept my food on the window sill.

AURA Ochrona Środowiska (AURA Environmental Protection) - the whole list